Pontypridd Post Office is gearing up for Christmas despite several setbacks this year, starting with a major flood that hit just before the Coronavirus pandemic.
Haiba Aoshather, who took over the branch in February 2019, talks about the challenging year and the run-up to Christmas in a BBC radio interview here from 1hr 55min: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000px4t
Storm Dennis hit Wales in February 2020. Torrential rain caused severe flooding in Pontypridd town centre after the River Taff burst its banks.
Pontypridd Post Office and many shops in Pontypridd town centre were flooded and forced to close. Haiba and her team worked hard to get the Post Office open as soon as possible, as she knew how important it was to the community.
Her branch managed to reopen on 9 March, but then UK lockdown struck. While the Post Office stayed open as it was an essential retailer, all other nearby shops were closed as they were deemed non-essential or had not been able to reopen after the floods. Few people were visiting, so the branch closed again. It then reopened with restricted hours.
The recent Welsh firebreak lockdown affected trade yet again as far fewer people visited the town centre.
Now, longer opening hours have been introduced as people prepare for Christmas. With many more people shopping online and restrictions on visiting family and friends, there is an expected increase in customers sending parcels and cards and returning items this year.
Area Manager Ceri James said: “The Post Office was under 4ft of mucky water in February. But with the support of everyone the Post Office reopened on 9 March. Then Coronavirus hit retailers hard.
“They are a very good team at Pontypridd Post Office and they deserve some luck. Despite everything Haiba and her team are still smiling.”